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Portrush Open 2019 | How safe is Northern Ireland

A direct answer to “How safe is Northern Ireland for visitors to The Portrush Open 2019?”. Extremely.


If you’re coming from any cities anywhere in the world where you can’t leave your mobile openly on the table in a cafe or where you’re always on the look-out for pickpockets or mugging situations, you’ll find our wee place a breath of fresh air. NI folk don’t worry about things like this, because we have an extremely low crime rate. Portrush itself is a quaint, quiet, laid back Victorian seaside town. Sure, like everywhere we have thieves and wrong’uns and so we’d always urge you to take care. And no doubt with The Open some of these idiots might make their way up to Portrush because it’s anticipated that there will be 100,000 visitors for them to target. But it will be highly unlikely that anything bad will happen to you personally (mugging, feeling threatened or insecure, violence in the evenings associated with alcohol) or even that you’ll hear of bad things happening to others. There’s a lovely sense of ‘feeling safe’ here in Northern Ireland. I think that’s the message we want to get across.

Dad Tom talking: “To give you a sense of it, I would happily let Benjamin (aged 14) head into Belfast on a Saturday night and come back by himself. And Belfast is our ‘roughest’ city. On the Causeway Coast I would have no issues with him coming home late by himself”.

Northern Ireland is a relaxed, safe, welcoming place:


Petty crime is extremely low in Northern Ireland, but like everywhere, it does exist. So it’s important to urge caution. Like any world event where mass crowds gather in an unfamiliar place, stay vigilant and don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home – so don’t leave obvious windows open, wallets and expensive equipment clearly on view in a car parked in a quiet place and your golf clubs leaning on the wall outside the pub whilst you go for a pint after the game. The usual stuff.


We know this is a genuine concern and remarkably, 20 years on, is still a barrier for lots of people coming to Northern Ireland, so let’s address it. More than likely if you’re of a certain age and you first considered coming to The Open, the image of a guy in a mask with a gun or a bomb going off might have come into your head. Also, having mentioned your trip to others, these words, images, comments and jokes might have been brought up. So … No you don’t need to bring a flack jacket to The Open. Or weapons. Or pack a balaclava! Yeah yeah, we’ve heard it all before. Fingers crossed one day all those jokes will stop and we’ll be able to move on.

20 years of peace, change and normality, yet this thing still haunts us. No doubt when they announced the golf coming to Portrush news outlets around the world would have made reference to The Troubles. We’ve moved on, but the world keeps holding us back, which is why we need folks like you to come to Northern Ireland, enjoy the experience of our wonderful, unspoilt, safe place … and then tell the world. That’s the only way to change the record. Which is why we need you to take to social media and post all your amazing stories and pics tagged with #causewaycoastNI and #NI so this message can get out.

The paradox that is Northern Ireland is that despite being known for our troubled and violent past, we live in one of the safest places in Europe. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 – 20 years ago – marked the end of “The Troubles”. 20 years of normality, yet people still worry about coming here thinking it’s some kind of war zone with 30-40 year old images of our past in their head.

How people often see Belfast in their mind

Photos courtesy of Belfast Telegraph

What they find

It’s easy to say things like “we’re one of the safest places in Europe, but we thought it best to show you. 2017 research below from a leading UK insurance company:

Source: Admiral Insurance, 2017

Hope this has put it all in perspective for you!

Enjoy your time with us… :O)

Benjamin & dad


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